November 27, 2011

Holiday TV we love

Every year at about this time, these unsung heroes of holiday TV show up and remind us why.

By CHUCK BARNEY McClatchy Newspapers

(Continued from page 1)

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Dr. Seuss said it best when he described MAX THE DOG as an “Everydog – all love and limpness and loyalty,” in “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”

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“Even among misfits, you’re misfits.” – YUKON CORNELIUS to Rudolph and Hermey when they’re denied residence on the Island of Misfit Toys, in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

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Random trivia: The Clarence Hotel opened in 2009 in Seneca Falls, the upstate New York town that claims to have been the inspiration for the film's Bedford Falls. Stewart often named "It's a Wonderful Life" as his favorite film.

HIGHLIGHTS OF TELEVISION'S holiday-themed programs airing between now and Christmas are listed below.

Some of these shows will have repeat airings. For those times, as well as other programs, consult your listings. 


"Shrek the Halls": The cranky swamp ogre struggles to get into the Christmas spirit. (8:30 p.m. Monday, ABC).

"A Miser Brothers' Christmas": A sequel to 1974's "A Year Without a Santa Claus," in which the Heat Miser and the Cold Miser must stop their bickering to save Christmas. (10 p.m. Dec. 8, ABC Family).

"Frosty Returns": A newly invented snow-removal spray threatens our favorite snowman. (8:30 p.m. Dec. 9, CBS).

"Yes, Virginia": A curious, letter-writing girl questions the existence of Santa Claus. Based on a true story that became the basis for the most famous editorial of all time, originally published in 1897 and reprinted by newspapers annually ever since. (9 p.m. Dec. 9, CBS).

"The Flight Before Christmas": A young reindeer yearns to become an expert flier just like his dad. (9 p.m. Dec. 10, CBS).

"The Story of Santa Claus": Animated saga traces the early days of the jolly big man. Not to be confused with "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town." (9 p.m. Dec. 17, CBS). 


"Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice": The adventures continue for elves Lanny and Wayne, who try to thwart a "naughty" computer hacker out to spoil Christmas. (8:30 p.m. Dec. 5, ABC).

"Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas": There's trouble in the arctic when Sid accidentally destroys Manny's holiday decorations. (9 p.m. Dec. 16, Fox).


"Desperately Seeking Santa": An ambitious marketing executive (Laura Vandervoort) dreams up a "sexy Santa contest" to boost traffic at a shopping mall. (8 p.m. today, ABC Family).

"Good Luck, Charlie, It's Christmas": Chaos breaks out as the Duncan family gets separated during a holiday road trip. (8 p.m. Friday, Disney Channel).

"A Princess for Christmas": A reclusive English Duke (Roger Moore) attempts to reconnect with his estranged American relatives. (8 p.m. Saturday, Hallmark Channel).

"Annie Claus Is Coming to Town": Santa's daughter (Maria Thayer) leaves the North Pole for a trip to sunny Southern California. (8 p.m. Dec. 10, Hallmark Channel).

"12 Dates of Christmas": Amy Smart and Mark-Paul Gosselaar star in a romantic comedy about a woman who continually relives the same first date on Christmas Eve. (8 p.m. Dec. 11, ABC Family).

"Christmas Comes to Canaan": Country crooner Billy Ray Cyrus stars in this sequel to a popular 2009 film. (8 p.m. Dec. 17, Hallmark Channel). 


"The Santa Claus": Tim Allen dons the red suit and fluffy beard. Chaos ensues. (7 p.m. Thursday, ABC Family).

"The Polar Express": Tom Hanks is the conductor on a magical train bound for the North Pole. (8:30 p.m. Dec. 5, ABC Family).

"A Christmas Carol": Reginald Owen plays Scrooge in this 1938 version of the Dickens classic. (9:45 p.m. Dec. 5, TCM).

"Miracle on 34th Street": A department store Santa restores our faith in humanity. (Noon Dec. 6, TCM). 


"Christmas in Rockefeller Center": Tony Bennett, Justin Bieber, Cee Lo Green, Faith Hill and others light up the big tree in the Big Apple. (8 p.m. Wednesday, NBC).

"CMA Country Christmas": Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts and others belt out holiday tunes. (9 p.m. Thursday, ABC).

"The Sing-Off Holiday Special": Reality series looks to provide plenty of comfort and joy. (8 p.m. Dec. 5, NBC).

"A Michael Buble Christmas": Grammy winner sings songs from his new Christmas album. (8 p.m. Dec. 6, NBC).

"A Home for the Holidays": Celebrities extol the virtues of the adoption process in 13th annual special. (8 p.m. Dec. 21, CBS).


A few other holiday scene-stealers who have left an indelible impression on us:

"Elf" (Peter Dinklage as Miles Finch) -- The incensed Finch kicks Will Ferrell's butt. Cracks us up every time. (8 p.m. Nov. 26, USA).

"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" (The Winter Warlock) -- Quite simply, the coolest name ever. (8 p.m. Dec. 1, ABC).

"The Year Without a Santa Claus" (Heat Miser & Snow Miser) -- Mother Nature's warring sons strike gold with their vaudevillian theme songs. (9 p.m. Dec. 8, ABC Family).

"Frosty the Snowman" (Professor Hinkle) -- The hatless villain just needs to chill out. (8 p.m. Dec. 9, CBS).

"A Christmas Story" (The leg lamp) -- Ah, the power of fishnet. Rarely has a lone prop gained so much attention. (Annual marathon begins 8 p.m. Dec. 24, TBS).


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"Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. … Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.” – LINUS to his friend, in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

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“They had to replace my metal plate with a plastic one. Every time Catherine would rev up the microwave, I’d (pee) my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour.” – Randy Quaid as COUSIN EDDIE in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

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“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” – CLARENCE, ANGEL 2ND CLASS (Henry Travers), to George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

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“The Polar Express”

Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood, and Maureen O'Hara in a scene from MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, 1947.
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“Miracle on 34th Street”

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“Shrek the Halls”

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